Clients do not look for firms but for the best teams of lawyers with the depth of experience they need to solve their public law problems. So we value our staff. We employ and are always on the lookout for great public lawyers with good experience and a passion for justice to add to our team of 16 first-class public and employment lawyers.

Find out about working at Chen Palmer or our current opportunities.


Mai Chen

Managing Partner

Mai Chen is the managing partner of Chen Palmer, NZPLS, Barristers and Solicitors, Australasia’s first public law specialist firm, which she co-founded in 1994.

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Nick Russell


Nick Russell is an experienced public law litigator who has appeared as counsel in a range of key cases at the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Privy Council.

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James Dunne


James has a lifetime of understanding of how Parliament works in New Zealand. He specialises in law reform and public policy, and is an expert in Parliament, legislation, law reform, policy reform and overseas investment.

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Marina Matthews


Marina heads the firm's Education team. She has significant Parliamentary experience and has been a specialist advisor to several Education Ministers. She has experiece in a range of public policy processes including the preparation of Cabinet papers, briefing Ministers, and preparing for Select Committees.

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Anthony Russell


Anthony specialises in providing expert employment law advice, and has provided quality advice across a range of sectors. Anthony has been practicising law since 1991 and has represented a wide range of employment law clients, particularly in the health, education and infrastructure industries.

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Claire English

Senior Associate - Employment

Claire was admitted to the bar in 2002 after graduating from the University of Waikato with an LLB/BA. Since being admitted, Claire has specalised in employment law and has a great deal of experience in advising clients on a range of employment law issues and opportunities.

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Carol Anderson

Public and Education Law Associate

Carol combines skills from a background in law and education.

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Kate Broadhurst

Intermediate Associate

Kate Broadhurst was admitted to the bar in 2009. Prior to joining Chen Palmer, Kate worked in leading commercial law firms specialising in commercial litigation.

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Frances Meikleham

Litigation Associate

Frances is a Litigation Associate in Chen Palmer's Auckland office.

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Steph Jones


Steph is a recent graduate of Victoria University, where she completed a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and French.

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Sean McCusker


Sean graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts. He joined the Wellington office of Chen Palmer.

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Imogen Welling


Imogen is an Associate in Chen Palmer's Public Law and Education teams. She completed a Juris Doctor degree at Monash University in Melbourne and a BA (Hons, First Class) at Otago University. 

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Sarah Mead


Sarah is in Chen Palmer's Public Law, Litigation and Education law teams.  She has an LLB(Hons) BA from Victoria University of Wellington and joined Chen Palmer in 2013.

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Sonali Perera


Sonali is a recent graduate from the University of Auckland, who joined Chen Palmer as a Law Clerk.

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Elena Mok


Elena Mok is an Associate in Chen Palmer's Public Law and Litigation teams.  She completed a Bachelor of Laws (Hons, First Class) and a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Languages) at Victoria University in 2014 and was admitted to the bar in September 2015.

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Ashleigh Ooi

Law Clerk

Ashleigh recently graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and History) and joined Chen Palmer's Auckland office as a Law Clerk in early 2016.

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